Raised Panel technique Question


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I'm in the process of building a screen door for the side door of my shop. I find myself at a crossroads, and would like some advice and certainly another perspective. I have 1 panel to make and raise for a door project. All the other parts are made, and this is the last bit of machining i need to do prior to assembly. Also, this is the first time I'm making a raised panel, and I don't see the need for doing this again for quite a while.

The first question is, do I bite the bullet and purchase a panel raising router bit with a back cutter ($75-120), or do I simply use my table saw and my fence extension jig to do the forming needed?

The second question is if I do it on the table saw, do i have the process figured out? I'm thinking to define the panel tongue first, (3/8" deep, 5/16" wide to fit into a 3/8" wide slot), then cut the raised portion of the panel at approx 6 degrees to get a 2" reveal, and be done. As I've not done this before, and cannot find any inforamtion on the web about the technique, I could really use your advise and thoughts. Thanks in advance for your kind help.

Gerry, Hereford, AZ ” A really good woodworker knows how the hide/ cover his / her mistakes.”

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Since you are only making one and have no plans to make more, maybe save the money on the router bit (though those bits ATB80 posted are really reasonably priced; thanks!)

When you bevel the edges of the panel, normally you'd just run the bevel and the thin edges (which are beveled) form the tongue you are talking about. In this case, the bevel will taper down to a thin edge thinner than your panel groove.

If you need a deeper, flat tongue, I'm thinking you could cut the bevel then form the tongue. I've never done that before or seen anything about it. But here's how I think you could do it:

Bevel the panel so the thin taper is a hair thinner than your groove. To form the flat tongue, set the blade vertical to a height of the tongue depth you want and run the panel back through vertically to form the tongue. Thing is, the final flat panel will show a reveal at the edge of the frame before the bevel starts. Dunno if you want that. Might have to monkey with making the tongue a hair thinner than the groove, but stopping right before the bevel's thickness reaches that of the groove. :blink:

Might be easier with just the bevel like we always see tablesaw raised panels. :D Just remember to do the two cross-grain cuts before the long grain cuts to minimize tearout.

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Thanks to all for your help!

Bonjour Paul-Marcel! Thank you for the help, clarity, and guidance. I'm a firm believer in asking questions when I do not know the technique. For sure I will be cutting the taper on the panel first. CHEERS!!

Frank, my understanding is that a variable speed router is better than a fixed speed one for this application, but in both cases making the cut a little at a time is both safer and results in a better outcome. That being said, I will be using my table saw to cut this raised panel.

Again, thank you all for your help!

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Do you need an adjustable speed router to use a panel raising router bit or can you just take numerous small passes with a fixed speed router?

Yeah slowing your router down is a must with big bits like panel raisers for safety, that is a lot of bit flying around. For many years I used my 690PC with a dimmer switch to slow it down. You are also right about taking numerous small passes, not only is it safer because you aren't removing as much material but you will also get a much nicer cut. One last thing you can do if you have a smaller less powerful router, or if it just feels safer, is remove a bunch of the stock on the table saw before putting the profile on with your router. Let us know what you decide and how it goes, good luck.

Nate

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Thanks Nate. When you say "dimmer switch" are you referring a plug in lamp dimmer?

post-299-035434800 1282492815_thumb.jpg

Actually I used a a wall mount light switch style one and wired it into my router table, I did it for many yrs with no problems just make sure you get one that can handle the amps your router needs. The other option if you can't find a dimmer switch that is large enough is to buy one made for routers through Rockler, Highland, or most other suppliers. Once you have the option of slowing down the speed you will be thankfull,it is safer and feels that way too.

Nate

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A while back I had to do raised panels for my wifes cedar chest. I had a small cheap router. The bits would not work with my router so I would have had to buy a new router along with the bits. I made 8 panels on the table saw (a very cheap table saw) and it worked out great. For one panel only, I would use this method. I didn't use any crazy angle, just 90 degress to the blade. It took about 7 passes. Very little sanding afterwards.

post-840-079035200 1282574739_thumb.jpg

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... The other option if you can't find a dimmer switch that is large enough is to buy one made for routers through Rockler, Highland, or most other suppliers.

Nate

One thing to keep in mind with these speed controls: if your router has a soft-start feature (where it slowly spins up instead of trying to jerk itself out of your hands) speed controls won't work with it. They have electronic controls built into them and the speed controllers (and dimmer switches) mess with that. I found that out the hard way.

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One thing to keep in mind with these speed controls: if your router has a soft-start feature (where it slowly spins up instead of trying to jerk itself out of your hands) speed controls won't work with it. They have electronic controls built into them and the speed controllers (and dimmer switches) mess with that. I found that out the hard way.

All of the ones I have paid attention to that had soft-start also had variable speed, obviously I must have overlooked some-excellent point. By learning the hard way I would guess that the limited electricity fried the soft start??

Nate

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All of the ones I have paid attention to that had soft-start also had variable speed, obviously I must have overlooked some-excellent point. By learning the hard way I would guess that the limited electricity fried the soft start??

Nate

Didn't quite fry it, but it makes an aweful racket and just sits there and vibrates in a scary manner. The "hard" part was buying the thing and then finding out months later it wouldn't work and having to buy another one.

Yeah, since it's all electronic, most variable speeds will also have soft-start, but not all soft-starts will have variable speeds, like mine, which by the way, was a middle-of-the-line craftsman that I bought several years ago before I really knew what I was doing.

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Also, this is the first time I'm making a raised panel, and I don't see the need for doing this again for quite a while.

You may be surprised. Raised panel construction isn't nearly as hard as it looks and, once you've gotten it in your bag of tricks, you may well wind up doing more of it.

The first question is, do I bite the bullet and purchase a panel raising router bit with a back cutter ($75-120), or do I simply use my table saw and my fence extension jig to do the forming needed?

I'm with Bill and this is precisely how I made my first (and second, and third, and...) raised panel door: Cove cuts on the table saw are the way to go. They look beautiful and are very easy to execute. Also a lot safer to control the work laying flat on the table rather than augmenting the fence to bevel things standing straight up.

cannot find any inforamtion on the web about the technique, I could really use your advise and thoughts.

Try T-Chisel's site when he's building the blanket chest. I seem to remember he raised his panels with bevel cuts on the table saw. But again, cove cuts will give you a beautiful piece for a lot less effort.

Rob

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Thank you all for your input. I've made the raised panel, and it is currently installed in the door. I did make it by cutting the edges at an angle, but thanks to Bill, I will try to do a raised panel with coving on the edges. It makes WAY more sense to cut the panel flat than on it's edge. CHEERS!!

Gerry

BTW If I could figure out how to post a photo of the finished panel, I would!

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BTW If I could figure out how to post a photo of the finished panel, I would!

Okay, I'll put you on the spot then :)

Hit 'Reply' to this message so you get the 'full editor'. If you use the quick reply thingy at the bottom, there's a "Use Full Editor" button; click that.

Type your message. To attach to photo somewhere, scroll down to find the Attachments section. Click on 'browse...' and locate your photo file. Next click 'Attach This File' so it gets transferred up.

On the line showing you the photo thumbnail, there's a link to the right "Insert Photo in Post" (or something like that) and it will insert a marker in your message on where to put the picture.

Sounds long, but I'm just wordy :)

(If you hit reply to this message, the instructions will be in the editor for your reference ;))

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Okay, I'll put you on the spot then :)

Hit 'Reply' to this message so you get the 'full editor'. If you use the quick reply thingy at the bottom, there's a "Use Full Editor" button; click that.

Type your message. To attach to photo somewhere, scroll down to find the Attachments section. Click on 'browse...' and locate your photo file. Next click 'Attach This File' so it gets transferred up.

On the line showing you the photo thumbnail, there's a link to the right "Insert Photo in Post" (or something like that) and it will insert a marker in your messaMy linkge on where to put the picture.

Sounds long, but I'm just wordy :)

(If you hit reply to this message, the instructions will be in the editor for your reference ;))

Or you can go here to my sticky in the "Forum Help" forum and it explains it in detail with pics..

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Great! Thanks, Paul-Marcel, Sac, and everyone for the help! I knew we could do it! :rolleyes:

Here are some photos of the panel, the jig, and the door.

post-453-083697000 1282980538_thumb.jpgCut Position post-453-093442600 1282980542_thumb.jpgSled mount View

post-453-064785000 1282980546_thumb.jpgPanel

post-453-064694400 1282980772_thumb.jpgDoor before Panel inserted ( not glued) ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Paul-Marcel,

Sorry for the delay in replying. The wood is Lyptus, a eucalyptus hybrid. This is the first full project I've built using mortise and tenon construction.

I've found the wood to be REALLY hard, and moderately difficult to work due to it's tendency to splinter. I have a mortise pal jig, but quickly determined to borrow a friends' Jet mortising machine. Without it, due to all the through mortises required, this door would never be finished. The project has also taught me more about tear-out, and the need for new backer boards for EVERY cut and through mortise, than I ever wanted to know. I plan to build it again for another of our doors, but I'll do that his winter.

Overall, this, like all of my projects thus far has been a learning experience.

Thanks again to all for all the help and encouragement.

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